Helen Mirren was honored with the “Legend” award at the Empire Awards over the weekend, and she quickly demonstrated why. In a speech that also discussed her career high points and her deep appreciation for her long career, the Oscar-winner called out Skyfall director Sam Mendes, who had won the “Inspiration” award earlier in the evening, for demonstrating how “bloke-y” her industry has traditionally been.
In Mendes’ speech, he thanked directors who had inspired him, including Paul Thomas Anderson, François Truffaut, Martin Scorsese and Ingmar Bergman, according to U.K. paper The Guardian. When Mirren took the stage, she used his speech as the starting point to discuss her dismay that Mendes didn’t cite any women (although Mirren was careful to emphasize that she was not criticizing Mendes personally). Mirren stated her hope that when “The next Sam gets up and makes his, or hopefully her, speech, there will be two or three or four or five women’s names there. There are some wonderful, wonderful female directors coming up, many of them are British and it’s so exciting to see that. Go girls!”
Cue rapturous audience applause.
Watch video of Mirren’s speech below (The talk about women starts at 2:48):